Loud children at Mass. thoughts?


When I see and hear children screaming at Mass, I wish it were my grandchildren who are not there.


The Church will go on, and it goes on by the birth of children. There isn’t any other way.
I am no more in favor of children screaming than anyone else, but I try to remember that Christ may remember me to the degree I welcome these children at Mass.


This link has come up previously on threads like these, but posting it bears repeating. https://www.catholicsistas.com/2018/03/my-kid-drinks-juice-in-mass/

The groaners either need to approach the “offending” parents (only after reading that link, please), or sit back and accept the reality of worship in community. Complaining on CAF will only build the bitterness and not create anypositive or productive solutions.


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But nobody here is fessing up to, “I let my completely neurologically normal child scream and yell and run around in church for no good reason and I let my kids watch movies and eat Happy Meals in the cry room.”

So, who exactly are you talking to?

Obviously, there are people who are completely heedless and oblivious and lazy parents–but as a rule, they aren’t regular CAF posters and they probably aren’t regular Mass goers, either.

Edited to add: I believe in the “liturgical zoning” solution, where certain Masses or certain parishes are known to have more families/small children, and some are known to have a lot of older people/people who like a quiet liturgy.

There’s something similar in the special needs world, where they do autistic-friendly holiday celebrations, where care is taken to avoid sensory problems.


The poster I quoted in my response.


What would you like Clementine14 to do differently than she’s doing?


. Read the post to which I responded and I think you’ll see why I wrote what I wrote.


I’d like to know this, too.


Again, my post stated that there should be mutual consideration among parishioners and addressed Clementine’s comments that people don’t know what’s going on with families/parents. No one knows what anyone else is going through or dealing with. I don’t know what the notion of mutual consideration is objectionable.


I don’t disagree with this, but I think it’s different when you’re talking about children’s behavior versus adults. Parents should do their best to make their kids behave, but children can’t be held to the same standard of behavior as adults.

So what might look to someone as though a parent is being “inconsiderate” may actually be a parent who is doing their best. Kids are learning how to behave, and parents are trying to teach them. “Considerate” for a parent might be to take away a child’s toy if he hits his brother with it, or it might be to give him a toy if he needs some input in order to stay still. “Considerate” for an adult might be not to give nasty looks or complain about the same child if he gets overstimulated and starts crying.


We want families to come to Mass. If the children scream we can help them with that to the best of our ability, but the last thing we should do is make them feel unwelcome. It seems to me that would fall under the sin of scandal.


Right. This is a work in progress.


This is what happens when we forget we were all children once…all of us at one time were teething, fidgety, fussy little wiggle worms who drove some of the more curmudgeon parishioners nuts…along with our long suffering parents.

Peter Pan was right on a few things…old age robs us our empathy with children and the wonder and joy of how they perceive life, if we let it…


No doubt. My point is not for children to behave like adults. I was addressing the specific part of your post where you mentioned that a parent might have a health issue or a migraine. Something coujld be going on with those who are being identified in this threads by names like 'grumblers" and “curmudgeons”. I think “considerate” for a parent would include maybe thinking of this when a child is being disruptive. I don’t think that is unreasonable. Just as I don’t think it’s unreasonable for parsishioners to not get bent out of shape at the normal, regular noise/sounds a child is going to make.


It’s certainly possible to think more charitable thoughts–but it’s not necessarily possible to DO more.


I do think people forget how much we communicate with body language. I think if more parents made an effort to gesture, shush or otherwise acknowledge/manage the behavior they would receive more goodwill from the parish. Some parents don’t because they don’t believe those motions will correct the behavior or they freeze because they are embarrassed or they block it out because they are tired. What they are forgetting is they are projecting an image of indifference to the rest of the parish.

If your child makes a loud noise, you need to shush them. Not just so they know the volume was not acceptable but it also is an apology and acknowledgement to those who were disturbed.

Repeated bad disrupted behavior needs to be removed, even if the child perceives it as a reward. Toddlers…this isn’t a big deal. They will grow up. Older kids, include other punishments…no dessert, extra chores and remind them throughout the week of why they lost dessert. Get creative. Make it so they don’t perceive it as a reward.

Yes, children have every right to be at Mass. So does everyone else. We all need to be considerate of each other.

I say this as a parent of a toddler. It isn’t fun, but that’s life.


There’s a bit of a dilemma here, in that it’s possible for shushing or reprimands to add to the disruption that’s happening, rather than diminishing it. For example, some kids may see a reprimand as an opportunity to have a conversation in the middle of Mass…


I find shushing but not actually bothering to do anything more annoying. At my old parish there was this family with 2 school age kids who literally talked and played noisily throughout mass. They got the odd shush when really mum or dad should have been taking them outside and telling them if they aren’t going to be quiet there will be a consequence.


We have aurini-missa, meaning “mass for young children”
So we don’t have young children in our masses. All church in Korea are structured like it- but in cases in masses for minorities, such as foreigners and small villagers, this could be a problem.
The reason why the aurini-missa was developed is to better accomodate children but there has been a growing voice in Korea that this will be deleted.

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